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Airmen come together for North Star exercise

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – With his hands-on approach to teaching, Master Sgt. Charlie Jefferson, a 30th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, instructs Airmen how to properly construct a man-made defensive fighting position at the base’s quarterly North Star exercise held here June 23-26. North Star’s overall objective is to provide tasked personnel similar pre-deployment training normally received before supporting a deployment tasking. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kerelin Molina)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – With his hands-on approach to teaching, Master Sgt. Charlie Jefferson, a 30th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, instructs Airmen how to properly construct a man-made defensive fighting position at the base’s quarterly North Star exercise held here June 23-26. North Star’s overall objective is to provide tasked personnel similar pre-deployment training normally received before supporting a deployment tasking. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kerelin Molina)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- More than 100 Airmen from Vandenberg participated in the base's quarterly North Star exercise here June 23-26.

Airmen, from multiple units on base, set up camp at a remote, off base location to simulate a deployment to Al Asad, Iraq. The exercise was designed to replicate an environment similar to the conditions Airmen may encounter in a hostile deployed location.

Before being evaluated, the Airmen spent two days refreshing basic military techniques with Vandenberg's Exercise Evaluation Team. Airmen received training in such areas as combat operations, rules of engagement, weapons familiarization and self-aid and buddy care.

The EET walked around the confines of the exercise, taking notes and observing and correcting Airmen whenever problems arose.

"The exercise was a good opportunity for the Airmen who do not get this type of training very often," said Tech. Sgt. Troy Simack, the 30th Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of plans and programs. "The North Star exercises provide Airmen the skills they need before they deploy."

Many of the Airmen chosen to participate in this quarter's exercise are getting close to their deployment cycles. Throughout the exercise, the Airmen continually displayed an enthusiastic effort to learn and hone in on the combat skills needed for future deployments.

"The majority of the Airmen seem to be learning a lot out here," Sergeant Simack said. "This group of Airmen is a highly motivated group of individuals. They have paid close attention to all of the drills. If this group of Airmen were put into a real-world situation, I would be completely confident in their ability."

Vandenberg deploys more Airmen than any other base in Air Force Space Command. North Star has been one of the many ways Vandenberg Airmen remain mission ready.